OKLAHOMA – Oklahoma state law currently allows residents to make their own wine at home, but prohibits the home-brewing of beer. That will change if a bill co-authored by State Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, becomes law.
The bill, HB2348, has passed in the house 76-19.
The bill has been passed over to the Senate where it awaits assignment to a committee. If that committee approves the bill, it will go to the Senate floor for a vote.
“This just seems like a matter of common sense and fairness,” said Rep. Williams. “Since Oklahomans are permitted to make their own wine and hard cider at home, it doesn’t make any sense to prohibit them from brewing beer for their own use. It’s an issue of parity.”
Existing law imposes a fine of up to $5,000 for those caught brewing beer at home, though Rep. Williams said the state does not make any serious effort to enforce it. He noted that state liquor agents barely have enough manpower to do the job of regulating businesses that serve alcohol, let alone attempt to enforce the home-brewing prohibition. It has been estimated that as many as 8,000 Oklahomans are already brewing their own.
The bill that would change the law to permit home-brewing, HB2348, was approved with bipartisan support in a 12-1 vote by the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee before making it to the House floor.
If signed into law, home brewers will have to obtain a license from the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission, as is required of wine and cider makers.
Provisions of the bill allow residents to make the same amount currently permitted for wine and cider, 200 gallons a year, or roughly 355 six-packs. The alcoholic content of the average home-brewed beer tends to be less than that of homemade wine and cider, according to the American Home Brewers Association.